Takeoff! 2018


22 of the best new books for your collection for years 3 and 4.

The books on the Takeoff! list are selected annually by librarians from the Schools Library Service and primary schools, and is a list of recommended fiction to buy for your school library.

For fiction for upper KS2, take a look at our latest Must Read booklist.

The list represents a selection of the best new fiction first published in paperback within the last year, and aims to cover as diverse a range of subjects, genres, authors and interests as possible.

Posters and bookmarks will be sent to subscribing primary schools.

Please contact the library for more information on the Takeoff! list or to request additional posters or bookmarks


Read the full list
9780571329731 Ballerina Dreams Michaela DePrince At the orphanage in Sierra Leone, Michaela dreamed of being a ballerina, so imagine her delight when her new American adoptive parents send her to ballet school! A true story of international ballet star.
9781783445202 The Bolds on Holiday by Julian Clary Hyena family, the Bolds, are off to the seaside, but trouble arrives when Bobby is mistaken for a pup and snatched by a wicked dognapper. Can the family track her down and rescue all the stolen dogs without giving away their disguise?
9781444934014 Dinosaur Dash By Mo Farah, Kes Gray, Marta Kissi Mo and his friends discover that running backwards takes you back in time as well! But they find themselves in the time of the dinosaurs – who are not all that friendly!
9781781125885 Dread Cat Michael Rosen Dread cat has promised he will turn over a new leaf and stop eating them – but can the mice trust him?
9781847157874 Escape from Planet Bogey Gareth P. Jones The Pet Defenders need to find out why animals are disappearing from Nothington-on-Sea and discover aliens are holding the Planet Bogey Games. Can secret agents Biskit and Mitzy win the contest and find their missing partner, Champ. And what’s more, can they get back home afterwards?
9781444931600 Princess Smartypants and the Fairy Geek Mothers By Babette Cole In Fairy Land, the Fairy Geek Mothers have set up a website, offering wishes – ignoring the rule that fairies can only offer three wishes at a time. When the wishes start to go wrong, it is up to Princess Smartypants and her friends but everything back to rights
9781782956099/ 9781782953043 Daisy and the Trouble with Chocolate/ Jack Beechwhistle : Rise of the Hairy Horrors Kes Gray As well as getting to look after the school hamsters for the whole Easter holidays, Daisy is lucky enough to get two free tickets to Chocolate Land – what could be better?!

Why does the hairdresser, Valentino, collect the hair he cuts from everyone’s head?  Jack Beechwhistle, undercover agent extraordinaire, makes it his business to find out.

9781786960160 The River Challenge Bear Grylls The worst thing that could happen to Jack is falling in a river – given his secret fear of water, but he is pulled out by Bear Grylls and Jack learns how to survive – building a shelter for overnight, catching fish, building a raft and navigating back to safety!
9781407135090 The Cat and the King Nick Sharratt When a fire-breathing dragon burns down the castle, the king and his best friend the cat have to move house -and find 37 Castle Close where they set about getting to know their neighbours -but watch out for the return of the fire-breathing dragon!
9781406373349 They Don’t Teach This in Worm School! Simone Lia Marcus likes being a worm likes brown, mud and digging holes, but when he meets Laurence a pigeon who thinks he’s a flamingo, he has to do a deal to stop himself getting eaten – and that is navigating the way to Kenya so that Laurence can find his family. The trouble is, Marcus doesn’t know how to navigate…
9780008248413 The Birthday Surprise Clara Vulliamy Both Dotty and her teacher Mr D are hugely excited about their upcoming birthdays. Dotty’s Mum is planning a special party for her and the class have made a surprise present for Mr D. But when the gift mysteriously disappears, who could have taken it?
9781781126837 Good Dog McTavish Meg Rosoff McTavish could see that the Peachey family needed help, now that Ma Peachey had resigned and there was no one to do the cooking or the laundry. When Plan A does not work, he sets about implementing Plan B…
9781474744195/ 9781474744201 The Girl in the Graveyard and other Scary Tales/ The Library Claw and other Scary Tales Michael Dahl Spooky rooms in the local library noises in the basement, a short cut through the graveyard, an imp in the bathroom – no end of scary stories in these two collections!
9780857639158 The Invincibles : The Beast of Bramble Woods Caryl Hart Nell and Freddie sneak out to join the older children camping in the woods. It’s great fun…until the Beast of Bramble Wood wants to join in!
9780993553738 Al’s Awesome Science: No.1: Egg-Speriments! Jane Clarke Al loves experimenting – one of these days he is going to discover something amazing. Right now, he’s testing for the best thing to make a time machine with – which he will need to get away from the trouble he’s in for making so much mess!
9780192763877 Bee Boy : Clash of the Killer Queens Tony De Saulles Half BEE. Half BOY. Melvin Meadly is . . . BEE BOY. As a bee, Mel is ready to defend his hive against all enemies taking on killer wasps, terrifying hawkmoths, and battling queen bees. But as a boy, has he got what it takes to protect his bees (and himself) against the greatest menace of all Nasty Norman Crudwell?
9781406366051 Animals Behaving Badly By Nicola Davies True stories about some very weird and strange animals, from deadly wolverines to thieving birds and farting fish!
9781509808847 Swashbuckle Lil and the Jewel Thief Elli Woollard No-one in school knows that Lil is a swashbuckling pirate who’s scared of nothing – but she has to come to the rescue when Old Stinkbeard tries to steal the King’s ruby whilst the class are on a trip to the museum
9781848126336 Flying Fergus 7: The Wreck-It Race by Sir Chris Hoy The new coach, Charlie Campbell, has different ideas on how to win a cycling championship and the team are not sure it is going to work – why do yoga? And wheelbarrow races? And why enter the Wreck-it Run, where you have to build you own bike and compete in pairs? How will this help the team get faster?
9781911370062 My Name is Not Refugee Kate Milner We have to leave this town, it’s not safe, says mother. We have to say goodbye to old friends and travel a long way. We will see new and interesting things and learn new words: a beautiful way to learn about what it means to be a refugee.


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